Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Housing Crisis in AD

"...There was evidence rental rates in some Abu Dhabi neighbourhoods had risen at a rate of 2.5 per cent per week." Can you imagine that I laughed when I read this? I laughed because it is so true and it is so Abu Dhabi.

The housing issue in the city has been somewhat of a hot topic these days - when you hear expats who have been here for 20-30 years say that they've never seen anything quite like this you know it can be called a crisis. Media coverage about it is everywhere everyday (here's another article), but let me share with you our very own experience.

Take a guess with me - guess how much the price for the same apartment unit has gone up between last June when we moved in to this January, that's just about 7 months' period? Ready for the answer? ...50 %! So it really sucks for expats who are new to AD as it is impossible to find a unit in their original budget. Lucky for us, we are protected by the government-set rent cap of 5% per year for our lease renewal - phew!

Underground parking is another evidence. At first we didn't get one because we thought 5000 dhs (~1000 euros or 1350 dollars) per year for a parking spot was too much. Six months later the parking situation around our building got so bad that we decided to bite the bullet and getting one after all. Surprise, surprise, we were told that the price has been doubled only six months' later! Not only that and now there's a waiting list so we can't even pay to get a spot right away! The security guard told us the next door building is only higher at 15,000 dhs (~3,000) for an underground parking spot! Just fyi, we live on the edge of the downtown city, not even the centre or anything.

Anyhow, my apology for sounding a bit like Debbie Downer with my recent postings, but such frustration is just the one facet of living in AD, and I think it's just as equally interesting, and maybe even entertaining.

No comments: